Sunday, December 5, 2010

DAY 62 - A Bloody Nose is Better than a Punch in the Face

First, let me say that there is an extremely important moral to this story, so read ‘till the end even if nose bleeds are not currently a pressing issue for you.

(photo from Seesaw by TOYMONSTER LIMITED)

Allow me to clarify; a blow to the nose, with subsequent bleeding is no picnic. But what I would like to talk about is nose bleeding, technically called epistaxis, which occurs usually with little or no physical disturbance.

Nose bleeds occur in children and adults. Note/Clue: they usually occur exclusively on one side; one nostril.

Most current medical explanations of the cause of nose bleeds tend to be vague at best, and often not rational.

Many patients are told that their nose bleeds occur because the blood vessels in the nose are delicate and near the surface. This explanation doesn't hold water because it addresses neither the often erratic occurrence of the bleeding, nor the customary one-sided bleeding. Individuals can go long periods of time with the same delicate vessels, but no bleeding, and then can, without trauma, begin to have episodes of bleeding. And why would there be delicate vessels on just one side?

Patients are also told that the bleeding is due to dryness. If nasal passages are dry, then wouldn’t they be dry on both sides? Again, why the one-sided bleeding?

Chiropractors have reported, since 1895, that epistaxis often responds to manipulation of the vertebrae of the neck and upper back; in some cases, immediately. I have treated a number of individuals with nose bleeds in the past and have found the results impressive. Children respond particularly dramatically, compared to adults.

The reason that spinal adjustment can be a successful treatment is that nerves that come from the spine can effect blood vessels in the face and head. Given that the spine is the central axis of the body, and given that dysfunction in the spine consistently results in predominantly one-sided symptoms such as arm pain, leg pain, headache, numbness, and tingling, it is reasonable that the effects to blood vessels could also be affected by the spine and be predominantly one-sided.

I often explain to patients that our body is like a teeter-totter; the spine is the fulcrum, or tipping point; each side of the body, including arms and legs, represent the board. With a teeter-totter, if the fulcrum gets stuck, both sides of the teeter-totter will be affected; one may be higher, the other lower. Now, imagine your spinal joints, your fulcrum, gets stuck, from trauma, food allergy, stress, illness, or a lack of stretching; some aspect of your body’s function on one side may be left high in the air, and the other near the ground. If a joint in your neck became stuck, you could have bleeding on one side of your nose, and no bleeding on the other.

Moral: If you were not punched in the face, and your nose is bleeding, give thought to the powerfully influential teeter-totter of your body and spine, and see an excellent doctor of chiropractic.

No comments:

Post a Comment